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Note On Tipperary’s Fr. P. Ryan Released Under State Archive Rule

A secret ‘briefing note’, now released as part of the 1988 Irish State Archive 30-year rule, (Period for which Irish confidential government documents are restricted from public viewing by taxpayers), sheds new light on the non-extradition to Britain of a Tipperary born Irish Roman Catholic priest, accused by British intelligence of being an IRA volunteer.

This refused extradition to Britain was to spark an angry stand-off between the then Irish government led by An Taoiseach Mr Charles J. (C.J.) Haughey and the British government, then led by the now Late Mrs Margaret (Maggie) Thatcher.

Fr. Patrick (Paddy) Ryan.

Fr. Ryan contested the European Parliamentary Elections in 1989, as a Sinn Féin supported Independent, however, he failed to be elected, but received over 30,000 votes.

The priest in question was Fr. Patrick (Paddy) Ryan, born on June 26th, 1930, in Rossmore, Cashel, Co. Tipperary, and one of six children born to a rural farming family.

Paddy Ryan attended the local Christian Brothers School (CBS) here in Thurles and later the Pallottine College, Thurles, going on to train in the priesthood at St. Patrick’s College, Thurles, before being ordained on June 6th, 1954.

As a member of the Pallottine Order, he went to work on the missions in the diocese of Mbulu, one of the six districts of the Manyara Region of Tanzania and then later in America and later still in the city of London.

Fr. Ryan had shown no great interest in politics beyond a hatred for past and present British rule on the island of Ireland, however the Catholic Church and the Pallottine Order would formally suspend him from priestly duties after he refused a transfer to a parish church in England.  Later during a trip to Rome in the summer of that year, he is reported to have informed Italian priests that he hoped that the IRA would bomb the centre of London.

By the Autumn of 1973, he was shuttling back and forth between Dublin and Geneva, opening bank accounts and transferring funding (over £1,000,000) reportedly granted by his newly acquired contacts within Libyan Military Intelligence in Tripoli.

Continue reading Note On Tipperary’s Fr. P. Ryan Released Under State Archive Rule


Michael Lowry, T.D. – “Significant Progress At S.T.G.H.”

“South Tipperary General Hospital (S.T.G.H.) are doing magnificent work under General Manager Maria Barry and all her Team, together with every devoted member of staff at this hospital. With additional funding, they are making steady and worthwhile progress. They truly deserve praise and encouragement, and not criticism or snide negative commentary”.

So, stated Independent TD Mr Michael Lowry, in response to a recent public interview given by Deputy Mattie McGrath, recently.

Deputy Lowry stated; “Mattie is a great man at finding fault, specialising in criticism, but is very short on solutions and has a poor record on delivering results for the Hospital. During the past 3 years more has happened at this hospital than at any time in the previous 10 years. The cloud of doubt about its future has been lifted.”

Deputy Michael Lowry.

“We now have investment. We now have refurbishment works. We have development of services. We have expansion of bed compliment. The Hospital with whole-time equivalent positions, together with part-time roles has over 900 people working on the hospital site. Since 2016, over one hundred extra personnel are now working in the hospital complex. This includes 33 qualified nurses, 25 health care assistants, who are trained to support nurses in bedside duties. The balance is made up of additional consultants, doctors, attendants or clerical support staff. The new 11 bed trolley bay area became fully functional in 2018,” stated Lowry.

“In its first year of service 1,320 patients have used this facility to great effect. Without this unit those patients would have been on a corridor. Instead they were treated in a bed, with dignity and respect.

During 2018, “Medical 1” underwent a significant refurbishment programme. All flooring was replaced, bathrooms were upgraded, and improved lighting was installed. All areas were painted. An enhanced “nurse call” system was put in place.

While the new 40 bed modular unit did incur delays outside of my control, significant progress has been made. The site has been cleared. Services such as water, sanitation and drains have been put in place. Foundations and plinth bases for the modular units is almost complete. The modular frames which are in safe and secure storage, in Cahir, will be delivered to the site in the next 3 weeks. The link bridge between the hospital and the new unit is completed.

This is a major project. It takes time and the benefits of the additional bed compliment will be enormous. The Capital Cost of this Unit €12 million is provided for. Additional funds will be required for equipment and the day to day costs to staff and run the unit. The Senior Management of the Hospital have been very busy. They have quietly and efficiently prepared a business plan and put forward a business case for the required additional money. This Business Plan is being dealt with by the HSE nationally. I am confident that the funds required will be available from the 2019 budget. This project has had the full support of An Taoiseach Mr Leo Varadkar, the Minister for Health Mr Simon Harris and the Government.

This year, 2019, will see the further development of facilities and services with new additional staff appointments. Over €1 million has been allocated to various projects to include the upgrade of the laboratory. Refurbishment of the coronary care unit and acute medical assessment unit. Upgrade of kitchenettes and a new internal paging system. Approval has also been received to make changes to the main entrance of the hospital and to improve the emergency department entrance. This work is designed to reduce weather impact and to avoid closing these access points as a result of harsh weather conditions. Some 8 new consultancy posts have been sanctioned and will be advertised in the coming year.”

Deputy Lowry further stated, “Critics should recall that this hospital was listed for downgrading in 2007. Plans were in place to transfer acute services from Clonmel to Kilkenny and Waterford. For years the hospital was in limbo, completely ignored and side lined with no investment. I don’t apologise for the fact that my political intervention at the behest of the consultants and management of the hospital has heralded a solid stable future for the hospital with an exceptional level of funding to match the ambition. Unlike others I prefer to be positive, to be constructive, to get things done, to find solutions and achieve results.”


Soloheadbeg Ambush – A Centenary Perspective

“Soloheadbeg Ambush – A Centenary Perspective”

The year was 1919 and almost one hundred years ago to the present date, (January 21st 1919), two Irish born Roman Catholic Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) Constables, named as Mr James Alec McDonnell and Mr Patrick O’Connell, were both escorting a horse drawn cart carrying blasting gelignite from the Tipperary town Military Barracks to the local Soloheadbeg quarry works.  The driver of the cart was Mr James Godfrey, accompanied by a Co. Council worker, named as Mr Patrick Flynn.

James McDonnell & Anastasia (nee Doyle) (Sepia Tone Pic.) – His son Christopher McDonnell & Bridget (nee McGrath) (Black & White Pic.). Pictures are published courtesy of the Sweeney Family.

Constable James McDonnell, a native of Belmullet, (a coastal Gaeltacht town) in Co. Mayo and the father of seven children, together with his comrade Constable Patrick O’Connell, latter a native of Coachford, Co. Cork and unmarried, were both in charge of guarding this cargo of explosives.

The driver and Co. Council worker were both left unharmed, when some eight armed and masked men, members of the then Irish Volunteers from the South Tipperary Brigade, opened fire on both Constables, killing both the men. Tipperary Volunteer GHQ had not officially sanctioned this ambush, however the shots fired at this ambush would now be the first bullets fired in the war for Irish independence from Britain, which followed.

Library researcher Mrs Mary Guinan-Darmody, (Tipperary Studies), in Tipperary Co. Council Library Services here in Thurles, now reports:-

“Just days before the centenary of the Solohead Ambush, the “Tipperary People and Places Series” welcome Dr. Des Marnane to give a very timely talk, in The Source, Thurles. His subject will be ‘The Soloheadbeg Ambush – A Centenary Perspective’.

With the help of Mr Cathal O’Donoghue; latter well known for his stage performances across the county; Dr. Marnane will base his lecture around a series of readings of original documentary sources, some not used before, providing differing perspectives on this seminal event.

So, do join us in ‘The Source’ at 7.30pm on Tuesday January 15th next. Also, being shown at this venue is a short film, showing an enactment of the ambush, produced and directed by the pupils of the Monastery School, Tipperary town.”

Note Please: As is usual with such Thurles Library events, all are welcome to attend and admission, on that evening (Tuesday January 15th), is free.

For further details please contact Tel No. – 076 1066123 or www.tipperarystudies.ie

Other Brief History of the Soloheadbeg Area.

Sologheadbeg (Irish – Sulchóid Bheag) is a townland and a civil parish in Co. Tipperary, Ireland, lying to the northwest of Tipperary town, with a population in the year 1911 of just 2857 inhabitants; same reduced by the Great Famine, (1845-1849); continuous forced emigration and migration, from a total of 6673 known residents, in the year 1841.

Year 968: Same townland, in the year 968, saw the stand-off for the Battle of Sulcoit, where the Dalcassian (Dál gCais were a 10 century Gaelic Irish tribe) Brian Ború and his illegitimate brother King Mahon of Thomond, defeat the Viking King Ivar.; latter the last King of the city-state of Limerick.

Year 1603: Back in 1603, it was a stopping-point for Donal Cam O’Sullivan Beare, during his epic march from Dunboy Castle in west Cork to O’Rourke’s Castle in Leitrim.

Year 1864: In April 1864, nearby, at Barronstown, Solohead, was born Sir Michael Francis O’Dwyer GCIE KCSI (1864 – 1940) who would go on to become Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab (1912 – 1919), the land of “five rivers”, in India.  O’Dwyer was the sixth son in a family of fourteen children born in this same area of Co. Tipperary to John and Margaret (née Quirke) O’Dwyer, of Toem, Co. Tipperary.  O’Dwyer aged in his 75th year, would be eventually assassinated; shot dead by a Punjabi revolutionary, named Udham Singh, on March 13th 1940, at a joint meeting of the East India Association and the Central Asian Society in Caxton Hall, London.


Worst Ever Tipperary Hospital Overcrowding Figures Recorded

The Executive of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) are expected to meet next week to set dates for future strike action. The organisation claim that it has asked the Government to work with it and to try to resolve problems regarding recruitment and retention in nursing. This regrettably has not happened and 95% of INMO nurses and midwives have now voted in favour of industrial action.

Limerick University Hospital (UHL)

Overcrowding figures in hospitals in the early part of last year saw January (12,201), February (10,772) and March (10,511). The worst-hit hospital, in 2018, was Limerick University Hospital with 11,437, latter which is expected to provides acute-care hospital services, including a 24-hour emergency department, for the population of Ireland’s Mid West Region, which encompasses the counties of Tipperary, Limerick and Clare.

University Hospital Limerick is also the main teaching hospital for all six hospitals run by the HSE in the greater Mid-West Region [Others in this group include St. Munchin’s Regional Maternity Hospital, Limerick; Mid Western Orthopaedic Hospital, Croom; St John’s Hospital, Limerick; Mid Western Regional Hospital, Ennis, and the Mid Western Regional Hospital.]  and is aligned with the Graduate Medical School at the University of Limerick

The smaller South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel, had 5,201 patients waiting on trolleys last year (2018).

In all, more than 108,000 patients went without a bed in Irish hospitals during 2018.


Thurles Lidl Supermarket Plans Lodged With Tipperary Co. Council

Please click on the ‘architects vision’ of this planned project, shown in a high definition, three dimensional video above; which will allow you, the reader, to observe at first hand the enormous importance of this future project to a midland rural town, like Thurles.

Tipperary Independent T.D. Deputy Mr Michael Lowry has further confirmed that Lidl Group Architects Clarman, having completed extensive pre planning consultations with Tipperary Co. council, have now lodged a formal planning application. Same application also includes planning for the construction of the 60,000 Sq.Ft. of modern business accommodation, which will be marketed as the “Thurles Business Innovation Centre”.

Speaking earlier today, Deputy Michael Lowry stated “This exciting project has enormous potential not just to create jobs in Thurles, but to create real wealth within the local economy and further afield, within the whole county”.